Honey's proactive home maintenance checklist

28 March 2024 3 mins
home maintenance tips Australia

Here, we show you the importance of taking a proactive approach to home maintenance.

Anna-Louise McDougall

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner, seasoned property owner or renter — home is where the heart is, and it pays to ensure it’s a healthy one. Taking a proactive approach to home maintenance, especially in Australia, can be the difference between spending your Sunday clearing gutters or making a claim.

“Australia is renowned for its challenging and distinctive climate, characterised by extreme temperature variations ranging from scorching heat to freezing cold, coupled with alternating wet and dry conditions,” Matthew Lawrence, Claim Central Head of Partnerships told Honey. “In such an environment, regular maintenance of properties becomes an absolute necessity.”

While it’s not the most thrilling way to spend your spare time, it’s sure worth its while. Let’s take a look at the how and why of keeping your home in top condition.

Why is regular home maintenance important?

The importance of upkeeping your home regularly is as simple as being able to curb the domino effect of maintenance negligence, which directly impacts how efficiently damage can be repaired.

We asked insurance building and restoration specialists, Claim Central, about the consequences of overlooking maintenance. The team told us, on average it prolongs the restoration and repair process by 21%, delaying policyholders from restoring their properties to pre-loss condition. This not only increases the risk of further damage but can pose potential safety hazards to you, your loved ones or your tenants.

What sort of maintenance tasks should you be doing?

The best way to keep an eye on your home for signs of wear and tear is to (you guessed it) upkeep and general house cleaning on a weekly basis. Whether you outsource home help or get stuck in yourself, weekly cleaning can increase your chances of helping to prevent mould, staining, pest infestation and detect dampness — all of which may be signs of underlying bigger problems.

Weekly spray-and-wiping is one thing, but what about the areas that are hard to reach, hard to see, or just not on your radar?

Here, we round up what you (or a service professional) should be ticking off throughout the year for your home’s peace of mind.

Your home maintenance checklist

Every month

  • Clean all the sinks and drains in the home.
  • Dust and rinse your heating and air conditioning system filters (replace if required).
  • Scrub the grime off your rangehood filters with a strong degreasing solution.
  • Test smoke detectors, cleaning top to bottom and replacing batteries.
  • Replace light bulbs where necessary.

Every 3 months

  • Monitor your fridge for leaks, vacuum refrigerator coils, and ensure the temperature is at the right level.
  • Clean all dust and lint from your laundry exhaust vents.
  • Rinse out clothes dryers and washers’ screens.
  • Run water and flush toilets in unused areas.

Every 6 months

  • Inspect the outside paint, driveway, and foundations for any cracks or splits.
  • Re-seal decking, fences and any other outdoor woodwork.
  • Run cold and hot water taps, replace any damaged hoses.
  • Trim any overhanging trees or branches around the house.
  • Check gutters and downpipes to ensure they’re clear.
  • Remove any tree branches/foliage obstructing power wires.
  • Assess for water leakage or property damage.
  • Check for leaks in taps, seals and roofing.
  • Evaluate any moisture damage underneath the home.

Every year

  • Clean external walls to protect their condition, especially for homes near the water or industrial areas.
  • Clean carpets to keep them in good sanitary condition.
  • Clean ceiling fans to prevent the buildup of dust and grime.
  • Check all metal elements around the home both internally and especially externally e.g. brackets and screws to prevent corrosion which may result in a safety hazard.
  • Inspect roof for missing, loose or damaged tiles, bedding or capping, metal sheet corrosion, deterioration to metal flashings, and leaks.
  • Check the subfloor for adequate ventilation, signs of timber pests, settling soil which may affect stump stability and whether concrete slab foundations need stabilising or repair.
  • Service air conditioners as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors to ensure efficiency of heating/cooling systems.
  • Touch up external paint.

How Honey Insurance can help

Honey is determined to provide our customers with ongoing solutions to pick up on the small problems that can be repaired and maintained before something serious (or seriously expensive) occurs in your home. That starts with our smart home sensors that alerts your smartphone to accidents like fire, theft, mould risk and water damage.

Among the most frequent causes of property damage, water damage is the costliest according to the team at Claim Central. They say the average repair costs for this type of claim sits around $13,000, and properties requiring maintenance due to liquid-related incidents incur 13% higher expenses compared to those that undergo regular upkeep. But even the most maintained houses aren't immune to surprises — leaks can occur without warning, which is why our smart home sensors are here to do the alerting for you.

Honey customers can choose to include complimentary smart home sensors on eligible Honey home and contents policies. Check out how our smart home sensors help keep tabs on your home, here.

Insurance issued by RACQ Insurance Limited ABN 50 009 704 152, AFSL 233 082 and distributed by Honey Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 52 643 672 628, AFSL 528244. Conditions, limits and exclusions apply. This is general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you.  Always read the PDS, any applicable SPDS and TMD available at honeyinsurance.com before making any decision.

Anna is Honey’s resident copywriter and product marketer, responsible for making insurance make sense. When she’s not grammar policing, she’s being her own devil’s advocate; could it read better, could it help more people, how much Honey is enough?

Anna-Louise McDougall

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